Hello lovely fellow bloggers, I hope you are all keeping warm if you are experiencing our sudden winter spell in the U.K. I have even got our winter duvet out to put on the bed later!
I thought I would be brave and show you the first basket I made in the basket- making workshop I have been attending. Don't snigger, I know it's a bit wonky and has bits sticking out where they shouldn't. I haven't quite finished it yet as I have to get new secateurs to snip off some bits sticking out, but I love it and couldn't wait to start using it. It looks very tiny in the photos as I have huge balls of chunky wool in it, but it is actually a decent size and could be used as a picnic basket in the summer. During the next workshop I will start another, I am loving the whole experience, it is hard on my hands which aren't the strongest after having my carpal tunnel operated on, but really enjoyable.
These are some chunky socks I am knitting, yes I am becoming a bit obsessed with knitting socks after completing my first pair a couple of months ago. After seeing Kristies mukluc slippers over on http://journeynorthof49.blogspot.co.uk which I love, I thought I would try to add soles to them. Thank you for the advice yesterday, I will be trying various suggestions, to see which works best. I had the idea of knitting socks for the family for Xmas but it is going so slowly they may be ready for Xmas 2015 at this rate!
I have also included the recipe for the Gluten Free Xmas cake I made the other day. I won't be able to tell you what it is like until after Xmas obviously but I liked the ingredients. It is from Delicious Magazine
450 grams luxury mixed dried fruit
250g dried figs, quartered
175g glace cherries
150 ml ruby port (or dark rum)
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
225 g dairy-free sunflower margarine ( I used butter as I am not dairy free)
175g light muscovado sugar
4 large eggs
225g gluten free plain flour
2 tsp ground mixed spice
50g ground almonds
100g pecan nuts
I used port in it as I like it with cheese, whereas the rum probably wouldn't be used so would be a waste.
Grease and line the base and sides of a 20cm loose bottomed deep round cake tin with baking paper
Put the dried fruit, cherries, port or rum and orange zest and juice into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 15 mins. Remove from the heat and cool.
Preheat the oven to 150 C/fan130c/gas2
Beat the margarine/butter and sugar together until pale. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Fold in the flour with a pinch of salt, then add the mixed spice and ground almonds until well combined. Stir in the fruit and pecan nuts and spoon into the prepared tin. Level the surface and bake for 3 1/2 hours until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Cool in the tin for 30 mins, then take out and cool on a rack. Discard the baking paper and re wrap in baking paper and foil. Keep in an airtight tin for up to 2 months
I will be 'feeding' it every couple of weeks, and decorating it nearer Xmas.